Talk:Qigong/Archive 1

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Controversial content

Someone who (a) knows and (b) cares about Chinese culture, literature, religion, and history should work this over. This is apologetic literature for the practice of a religion which the article admits dates only (in its "traditional" form) to the 1970s (when it "reemerged"). MichaelTinkler

A response

There is less likely to be a scholarly history of qigong than there is of mahjong. Many accounts simply say it is "mysterious." Two articles published at the Web site of Healing People Network of 907 E. Verdugo Rd., Burbank, CA, claim to provide historical background: Yang Jwing-Ming, "A Brief History of Qigong," and Guo Yuqiu, "Introduction to Medical Qigong." Yang's article is adapted without attribution by the Web site (1) of the Qigong Institute of 561 Berkeley Ave., Menlo Park, CA, and by several other Web sites. (2) (3) None of these articles and Web sites cite any publications or other references for any of their claims.

Since qigong has become a popular form of personal development and recreation, one can find out somewhat more about its recent characteristics. "What is the recent history of Qigong in China?" by Meng Qing of the Université de Montréal appears on a Web site maintained by Wuji Productions of Kauai, Hawaii. Meng published a master's thesis in 2000 on "Healing Beliefs and Practice in the 'Way of Celestial Masters' during the Eastern Han Dynasty" and has been working under Prof. David Ownby on a Ph.D. thesis in History on the topic: "The Post-Mao Qigong Boom in the People's Republic of China: the Resurgence of Traditional Popular Culture."

Craig Bolon 17:20, 22 April 2006 (UTC)


The rationale for redirecting this to "Chinese Qigong" escapes me. There's nothing here to disambiguate, and the practice is always commonly referred to with only the single word. Eclecticology


based on Chinese religion strikes me as odd, since that includes several different religions that have very little in common. Can you be more specific? Mkweise

I don't have the historical knowledge myself, but this article seems to need at least a few references to the many 'written records' of qigong thousands of years ago. The history given here is biased at best. The 'three periods' are a strange idea - why does the final period begin in the '70s? Is this when Dr. Yan Xin (a medical doctor, so the quotes should not be there) started teaching? There are books published about qigong by the '50s.

'Modernized traditional' seems to be an oxymoron to me. Besides, there are no types of qigong listed here besides Yan Xin Qigong, and no references to older names for qigong.

Some comparisons with Indian and Tibetan medical practices (yoga, for example) would also be useful, perhaps. Edededed 06:41, 25 Sep 2003 (UTC)


I advise those with familiarity of this subject to go to the page history and review RK's edits. He made some major changes. Sweeping it under the carpet is useless. --Jiang 22:02, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Namely: [1], [2]. --Jiang

Controversial Content and Merging the Criticism of Qi gong Article with the Present Article

Thanks, I hadn't seen those.

BTW, kudos to you and Roadrunner, the page is much easier to read.

Fire Star 23:25, 13 Feb 2004 (UTC)


Can someone explain relevance to qigong? It's far from clear to me that qigong invokes culturally universal patterns of magical thinking. The closest culturally independent pattern that qigong invokes is vitalism, but even here the concept of a universal life force doesn't seem to be culturally independent (i.e. I can't think of any analogues in Middle Eastern, Indian, or European thought.) Roadrunner 14:51, 16 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Dr. Phillips Stevens writes "Many of today's complementary or alternative systems of healing involve magical beliefs, manifesting ways of thinking based in principles of cosmology and causality that are timeless and absolutely universal. So similar are some of these principles among all human populations that some cognitive scientists have suggested that they are innate to the human species, and this suggestion is being strengthened by current scientific research....Some of the principles of magical beliefs described above are evident in currently popular belief systems. A clear example is homeopathy...The fundamental principle of its founder, Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843), similia similibus curentur ("let likes cure likes"), is an explicit expression of a magical principle."


_______________________________________________________________________________


209.188.84.111 has put in a few edits promoting "Yan Xin Qigong," presumably a style he or she approves of. It is a relatively popular style, so I can see leaving references to it in, but this was borderline advertising. I put a greeting on 209.188.84.111's talk page with links to manuals of style, how to edit a page, etc. and reverted a few of the clumsier changes.

Fire Star 21:30, 25 Feb 2004 (UTC)

Why would most traditional Chinese medicine practitioners and the Chinese government believe that qigong is only a 'set of breathing and movement exercises?' If the Chinese government has accepted qigong as a medical practice covered by their National Health Plan, doesn't this seem wrong?

It also seems strange that there might be Confucian or Neo-Confucian styles of qigong.

I will make changes if noone responds for a while about these things.

Also, will anyone add a list of some of these hundreds, or thousands of schools of qigong? This article only mentions Yan Xin and Falungong.

Edededed 00:40, 14 May 2004 (UTC)


As i've leant it, "gong" means "ability", not "work". So I would traslate "qigong" as "qi ability".

When chinese say "ones qigong is good", they mean the level of ability is high, not that the practitioner is working a lot.

--Vcozma 20:37, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Why is qigong a branch of TCM ?

Qigong is very complex, it is not only breathing, it's controlling the body, mind, getting in touch with your soul and (finally ?) enlightment. I'm sure it's not a complete list.

In which way does acupuncture, presopuncture or any other practice of TCM help somebody achieve this ?

--Vcozma 20:57, 2 Jun 2004 (UTC)

By helping you become a complete being... Reading on 'internal alchemy' could shed some light on the matter.
And concerning your headline: 'Why is qigong a branch of TCM ?'. Answer: clearly because TCM treats by dealing with qi.

--Lok hup 11:35, 30 September 2005 (UTC)

Explanations first

I would prefer it if the explanation of the 2nd paragraph would be mentioned earlier.

For example first: Qigong (氣功 - pinyin: qì gōng, Wade-Giles: ch'i kung) Qi means breath or to breathe in Mandarin Chinese. Gong means work or technique. Qigong is then "breath work" or the art of managing the breath to achieve and maintain good health, and especially in the martial arts, to enhance the leverage and stamina of the body in coordination with the physical process of respiration.

and in the 2nd paragraph: Qigong is an increasingly popular aspect of Chinese medicine. Qigong is mostly taught for health maintenance purposes, but there are also some who teach it, especially in China, for therapeutic interventions. Various forms of traditional qigong are also widely taught in conjunction with Chinese martial arts.

Criticism of Qigong

"Both traditional Chinese and Western medicine practitioners have little argument with the notion that qigong can improve and in many cases maintain health by encouraging movement, increasing range of motion, relaxation, blood oxygen saturation and improving joint flexibility and resilience."

Probably the generality of this statement needs to be qualified. Does western medicine really generally support the idea of Qigong "improving and maintaining" health?

The question becomes one of "Relative to what medical state?". For example "breathing" in general could be said to "maintain and improve ones medical state" since by not breathing you will die. However positing the benefits of 'breathing' in such a manner would be considered by most to be humorous if not ingenuous.

So I submit that if you're going to talk about "improve and maintain x" then you need a relative reference.

In the elderly? ( some evidence to suggest this but higher impact exercise proves better http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=15154293 ). To someone who exercises three times per week? Quite possibly not.

Perhaps we simply need to talk about it as a low-impact exercise. That way there's no confusion about it's health benefits.


Unfortunately, there are many kinds of qigong, and they vary greatly in their effectiveness. As well, the individual student's discipline and application of technique will vary greatly from person to person. Those practices associated with T'ai Chi Ch'uan have been pretty well documented, and there are some citations at that article which may interest you. Fire Star 22:25, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)
THIS SECTION
Some proponents of qigong make the controversial claim that they can directly detect and manipulate this energy, but there are those who insist that they can only demonstrate this to fellow believers. Others, including many traditional Chinese practitioners, believe that qi can be viewed as a metaphor for biological processes, and the effectiveness of qigong can also be explained in terms more familiar to Western medicine such as stress management
This section (which I have outright deleted before) is full of loaded language (italics) and is not about criticism. It IS (unfounded) criticism. QI is energy, and QiGong is about learning to manipulate this energy. To suggest that Chi Kung practitioners view qi as a metaphor is inaccurate. Accupuncture/pressure IS a manipulation of this energy, and these can be considered sub-disciplines within Chi Kung (at least the variety I was involved in). I think that the cult-like aspect of some branches is covered well in the article, and western criticisms are well covered in the other paragraph in this section. So this paragraph is not useful information, but a biased view based on the western paradigm. So although I think this section could be expanded, I've taken out this paragraph again.
I have moved your statements to the correct place chronologically so that people may follow this discussion easier. Qigong and Qi are controversial subjects, many Westerners see them as superstitious. We don't say that their suspicions have any basis, we simply have to report them. We can't say that qigong is definitely a magical energy either. We can cite medical research that shows it helps for stress relief, as we do at the T'ai Chi Ch'uan article, if we have any studies to cite. Also, there are many different styles of qigong and many different practitioners of it. My school, for example, goes back centuries and uses qigong demonstrably as a martial art technique, yet I also believe that at its heart qigong is simply a metaphor for stress relief, if very advanced stress relief, so I am reverting your changes. I would be happy if you wanted to add that not all practitioners agree that it is a metaphor, though. My qualifications as a martial artist, qigong and acupressure practitioner are impeccable, and yet I can see a need to have differing viewpoints other than my own in the article. Wikipedia has a neutral point of view policy that we all have to adhere to. Fire Star 16:23, 5 May 2005 (UTC)
A better solution then. I've removed the loaded language. My problem is that as it was, it appeared that only a few quacks in the world of Qigong viewed qigong as 'energy training' or the like. Every Qigong link off this page (and every other Chi Kung source I've seen), describes Qigong as 'energy work' or some similar thing. When I talked with my Sifu about the lack of 'energy' in many western taichi teachings, he was very clear that without learning about energy flow (qi/chi) tai chi becomes not much different than any exercise such as jumping jacks. For the article to suggest that for many practitioners chi kung is simply stress relief, while some make the controversial claim that it is so much more, is not about point of view, it is an innaccurate portrayal. I honestly find it difficult to believe that you have spent a lifetime studying qigong without feeling the chi. Which school do you learn under? It would be interesting to learn a little about it. I certainly can make no claims of impeccable mastery however; at my 25 years I am not sure I would have time left in my life to achieve it! I am doing my best to work within the neutral point of view policy
"Neutrality does not compel us to introduce inaccuracy when something can be directly verified." - as I have said, that Qi/Chi and its cultivation is considered the most important tenant of (most?) Chi Kung can be verifed by visiting QiGong dedicated websites or reading QiGong instructional books. You could also ask many a Chi Kung Master.
"and they should seek to improve articles by removing any examples of cultural bias that they encounter" I may be wrong, but It appears to me that western bias has removed the Qi from Qigong. This is my concern. If my edits are not satisfactory, then as compromise we should remove all the some and many modifiers and other similar language that can be suggestive and misleading. At the very least, the stress reduction POV should be given a source, such as your particular school of Qigong. It should not be suggested that a majority of QiGong practitioners accept western critisism of thier art as valid. I apologize for deleting the paragraph; your discussion has made clear my error there. However, I think it is vital to include the Chi in a description of Chi Kung, whether westerners view the idea as superstitious or not. --unsigned comment from User:Lok hup
For most practitioners ch'i kung is indeed best characterised as stress relief. It is a basic tenet of traditional Chinese medicine that most disease is caused by stress, and relieving the physical effects of stress is the first step to regaining health. It is so basic you could call it TCM 101. To "feel the ch'i" as you put it takes many years and a very specific lifestyle, and not many are ready to go that far. Since you are a youngster with little experience yourself in these matters I can forgive your doubts, but FYI I am a sifu of the Wu Chien-ch'uan family lineage, and I have a lot of personal experience in fighting using T'ai Chi Ch'uan as well as healing my students and peers with ch'i that I have developed in the course of my training. One of my senior teachers was the late Wu Ta-hsin, the son of Wu Kung-tsao. They were both well known experts in traditional Chinese medicine as well as all aspects of soft style martial arts, including ch'i kung. I also, however, am a Wikipedia administrator and am well aware of Wikipedia's no original research policy, which any reports in articles of my personal experiences of ch'i which I made would fall under. So, we will be keeping the article neutral and free from seemingly fantastic claims. --Fire Star 05:19, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Just some input from an outsider. I feel this article is well handled. The facts are well laid out, and criticisms are fair. Wikipedia policy seems to work to a large extent. RomanX 04:33, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

      • Some criticisms regarding the criticisms of qi gong section. Citing the sanctions made by the PRC against Falun Gong are dangerous and ill-researched. First, the implication that the PRC is qualified to sanction or not sanction the veracity of a cultural element that it has a long history of repressing is ludicrous. Second, the section of text is almost a verbatim quote from an article drafted by a psychologist from Pennsylvania that has its own strong anti-qi gong bias. Third, this small bit of text has been making the rounds in quotes of extremist Christian literature in the U.S. Fourth, the "ban" by the PRC is a systematic process of imprisonment, torture, and execution of Falun practitioners. It is, in fact, the same process applied to many Taoists, Buddhists, and martial artists following the communist revolution. Fifth, the specific political activities that triggered the suppression are well documented and can be googled easily. What can't be googled is the knowledge that most revolutions in China were organized by martial artists or qi gong practitioners. The PRC fear that such a thing might occur again is driven by the Chinese cultural concept of "moral force"--the belief that the people will assemble behind the just to fight the unjust.

For the record, I have no connection to Falun24.121.32.141 07:17, 2 January 2006 (UTC)

Qi Gong Explained

First examine what you must accept to believe that Qi Gong has medicinal powers. Users believe that if they stand in groups and perform slow motion martial arts katas in unison they gain the power to alter their reality. Some long-term users believe they possess superhuman or supernatural powers.

The psychiatric effects of Qi Gong are real but the explanation of what is happening is incorrect. Qi is a construction of the human mind and exists only as human thought. (Kundalini Yoga has an even more elaborate belief system to explain the effects of the Awakening of Kundalini. In Qi Gong this is called 'opening the third eye.' It's the same simple phenomenon.)

When the katas are performed users are creating the "special circumstances" which were discovered to cause mental breaks for knowledge workers in the 1960's. The cubicle solved the problem in business offices.

Yogis and Qi Gong Masters agree that the psychotic episodes happen when too many sessions are performed in a compact time frame. But those same experts claim that mysterious universal life forces are at work.

Short-term intense exposure produces a 'first psychotic episode.' But when exposure to Subliminal Distraction is low level but persistent, permanent psychotic altered mental states are created.

Example: Martial arts acolytes believe they can project qi from their fingertips and strike opponents knocking them down without touching them.

Eyes-open concentration to meditate copies or replaces the slight dissociation necessary to perform knowledge work in a business office. Subliminally detected movement from others nearby substitutes for office staff walking close enough beside a concentrating worker to cause an attempt to create a peripheral vision reflex.

The effect can be explained as Subliminal Accidental Operant Conditioning.

Visual Subliminal Distraction is not recognized in the United States. But it is stated as the reason Cubicle Level Protection is needed for at-risk knowledge workers in other countries, Australia.

Qi Gong users are told to think of achieving general good health rather than a specific cure while they perform the exercise. When their brain misunderstands the repeating subliminal stimulation as reinforcement for those thoughts they are conditioned to believe they received a benefit. They may well get a real benefit. The effect of this phenomenon is unknown in the field of psychology.

There is no specific medical benefit from katas with names like White Crane, or Jade Dragon. The benefit is created though operant conditioning acting against the user's beliefs and contemporaneous thought. The only difference is the number of threat movement detection incidents a kata will produce due the nature of the movements in peripheral vision.

Mental breaks caused by the phenomenon can be observed on Russian space missions, Soyuz 21/ Salut 5; the psychotic episodes caused by est; mental breaks on scientific expeditions (Belgian Polar Expedition 1898); and in many Culture Bound Syndromes (Jumping Frenchmen of Maine, Latah, Amok, iich’aa, Going Postal).

The physiology that allows exposure to the phenomenon can be demonstrated with a simple psychology experiment. http://visionandpsychosis.net/a_demonstration_you_can_do.htm

Links to the current state of the art are on these pages. The ‘conflict to physiology’ is not mentioned on linked pages. No one in psychology is aware of the engineering and design discovery from the 1960’s.

Designers and engineers who build 'Systems Furniture,' Cubicles are the only people who work with this problem. They do not connect their "nuisance design problem" with any other outcome or disorder.

http://visionandpsychosis.net/Astronauts_Insanity.htm http://visionandpsychosis.net/Culture_Bound_Syndromes.htm http://visionandpsychosis.net/QiGong_Psychotic_Reaction_Diversion.htm http://visionandpsychosis.net/EST_Werner_Erhard.htm


L K Tucker 68.19.34.74 03:37, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

Regulation in china

The article states:

"After years of debate, the Chinese government decided to officially manage qigong through government regulation in 1996 and has also listed qigong as part of their National Health Plan."

First, this needs a citation. Second, I have heard of this, but i couldn't turn up any information just browsing online. Specifically, I've encountered various traditions of Qigong that claim they're style or form was accepted by the government as some sort of nationally-endorsed qigong, implying that their style is one of the most commonly practiced in China (e.g. Soaring Crane Qi Gong). Obviously, this is a pretty grandiose claim for any martial arts school to make, but if the practice is being nationally regulated that would imp[ly that there is some standardization of the practice.

Any information on this standardization/regulation of qi gong in China would be greatly appreciated, both on a personal level as well as a beneficial addition to the article. Shaggorama 22:53, 16 April 2006 (UTC)

About translation of "qigong" from Chinese to English

As of April, 2006, the article claims that "Qi means breath...gong means work...Qigong is then 'breath work'...." This is a misreading of 气功(simple form) 氣功(full form) as though instead it were 气工(simple form) 氣工(full form). The same mistake is occasionally found in Chinese. The character 功(gōng) of 气功(simple form) 氣功(full form) is a combination 工(gōng "work") and 力(lì "strength") and means "achievement" or "skill" as in 成功(chénggōng "succeed") and 功力(gōnglì "craftsmanship"). A better English equivalent would be "breathing skills," although there are citations such as 常用体育词汇中英文对照 that call it "breathing exercises." Before spiraling onward with interpretation of 气(simple form) 氣(full form, Qì) as "spirit" it would be helpful to note common associations in 嗳气(simple form) 噯氣 (full form, ǎiqì "belch") and 放气(simple form) 放氣(full form, fàngqì "pass gas").

Craig Bolon 15:25, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

What you say makes sense, and I support including the above info in the article. --Fire Star 01:42, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Chi Kung

Isn't Qigong the same as chi kung? And isn't chi kung a part of Tai Chi?

  • Yes. Yes and no: it is an essential part of genuine Tai Chi Chuan training, but it can be (and is) practiced as a stand-alone Art. Boris SDC 11:21, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Shaolin Cosmos Chi Kung, Shaolin Kungfu and Taijiquan/Tai Chi Chuan

Greetings all,

I am a practitioner of genuine (and I stress "genuine") Shaolin Cosmos Chi Kung and genuine Shaolin Kungfu and I am in vehement opposition to much of what is discussed here.

First of all, "Qi" or "Chi" is best translated as "Energy" and NOT as "Breath". It is the process of cultivating and maintaining one's own energy or "Qi" for all aspects of health and for use in Martial Arts.

LK Tucker: "Qi is a construction of the human mind and exists only as human thought." This is dangerously incorrect. I'd be happy to elaborate if anybody wishes.

"Short-term intense exposure produces a 'first psychotic episode.' But when exposure to Subliminal Distraction is low level but persistent, permanent psychotic altered mental states are created.

Example: Martial arts acolytes believe they can project qi from their fingertips and strike opponents knocking them down without touching them."

This is true. It is NOT a psychotically altered mindstate or belief. Qi is an integral part of training in genuine Shaolin Kungfu.

Yes, people can project qi from their fingertips to damage an opponent in genuine Shaolin Kungfu. It is a part of training in the technique "One-Finger Shooting Zen".

Also, you cited in your post: "Qi Gong users are told to think of achieving general good health rather than a specific cure while they perform the exercise. When their brain misunderstands the repeating subliminal stimulation as reinforcement for those thoughts they are conditioned to believe they received a benefit. They may well get a real benefit. The effect of this phenomenon is unknown in the field of psychology."

This statement is contradictory. The effects of Chi Kung can not be explained by psychology or by any paradigm of western medicine, yet it claims that manipulated thoughts by the brain are "conditioning" the practitioner...This also is dangerously incorrect.

I wish to state here that the effects of genuine Chi Kung and Shaolin Kungfu (including Taijiquan/Tai Chi Chuan) are best understood through direct experience. People here are making posts which seek to intellectualise these processes. In doing so, the arts are degraded into the realm of speculation and as a practitioner of the genuine arts, I aim to rectify these outrageous statements by speaking from my own personal experience. Thank you. —Preceding unsigned comment added by User:Cragget (talkcontribs)

Greetings. Like a lot of other subjects, there are probably as many opinions on this as there are people who are interested in it. What we have to provide to have an opinion listed are sources for those opinions. What we have to avoid are the results of our own experiences with any given subject. That is the editorial nature of an encyclopaedia like Wikipedia. It is set up so that we have to think less like authors of original articles and more like reporters of notable research and other opinions on well known subjects. So, while one group's opinion is that qi doesn't mean breath (and should also be included here if it is sourced properly), dictionaries tell us that for a billion Chinese speakers the word is used to mean breath (and other things, too, of course) every day, so that kind of reference has a place in our articles. I hope this helps explain the perspective you find here. --Fire Star 火星 15:42, 26 October 2006 (UTC)

So, while one group's opinion is that qi doesn't mean breath (and should also be included here if it is sourced properly), dictionaries tell us that for a billion Chinese speakers the word is used to mean breath (and other things, too, of course) every day, so that kind of reference has a place in our articles.

I understand that. However, the translation for "Qi" in this very context (Qigong) does not refer to breath, it refers to energy. The translation is also not a matter of opinion.

What we have to avoid are the results of our own experiences with any given subject.

With regards to the genuine arts like Chi Kung, Kungfu and Taijiquan, experience is the best way to understand them. Posting from my own experience will be the most accurate and factual information that I can provide. With "any given subject", I agree, thorough research must be conducted. But these arts are not just "any given subject". As I said in my last post, people are trying to intellectualise these processes, and in doing so they are making severe misjudgements and false statements. These statements are then taken as fact just because they can say that it came from some book and it is extremely damaging to the reputation of the genuine arts. Don't get me wrong, I do plan to back up a lot of what I am saying with references from books. What I'm more referring to are the references taken from scientific texts and texts that attempt to use a western paradigm to explain these processes. In the article, I think it should be stipulated that while western science attempts to explain Chi Kung, it has so far been unsuccessful. Any factual elements of this article should be devoid of any western scientific rationalisation whatsoever. --User:Cragget 09:05, 27 October 2006

Greetings. The solution for the breath/energy thing is to mention both, as we do. Which came first is a chicken or the egg thing that is lost in the depths of time. I agree skeptically minded followers of the scientific method usually state that the results claimed by martial arts students and patients of traditional Chinese medicine practitioners can be explained without invoking esoteric or supernatural processes. In answer, proponents of qigong maintain that since modern scientific technologies have to this point been unable to create life out of organic chemicals in their laboratories, and that as qi is a metaphor for the energy of life itself, it is to be thereby demonstrated that the mechanisms of how the subject of such a metaphor would work so far elude the abilities of the scientific community to describe. As for reporting your experiences, it is OK for your experiences to inform what you report (we all do that), but the actual reporting itself has to be from notable, verifiable sources or the first experienced editor who sees it will remove it. For instance, quoting famous authorities like Yang Chengfu, Wu Jianquan, Sun Lutang, etc. in aid of representing a traditional view of the subject won't raise any meaningful objections to say what you want to say, for example. --Fire Star 火星 15:08, 27 October 2006 (UTC)
Even in martial arts community, there are alot of different views of qi gong, and more will continue as chinese martial arts is spread beyond ancient china. I think we need to remember that this is an encyclopedia, not a guide to martial arts. An encyclopedia should try to present an unbias view as is possible. As much as pracitioners may not like it, a large amount of people do not believe in qigong and think it is a placebo at best. We must respect their opinion even if we do not agree. As an encyclopedia, these disbelief views should be kept. However, since this is a qigong article, i dont understand why half the article is about its "controversy." We need someone to expand this. Also, as 'huo xing' above stated, please reference quotes.
in terms of science or psuedoscience: if it cannot be observed, it is not science. That has nothing to do with truth. Science does not deal with truth. It deals with observations and mechanisms in nature. Truth belongs in philosophy class; not in science. If you cannot observe something, then it is perfectly acceptable to call is psuedoscience (although technically there are other qualifications needed). I think the problem is psuedoscience has a bad connotation which people want to avoid or feel disrepected when the art they practice is called that.
I could be wrong, but i think there might be a problem also dealing with the simplification of the chinese characters. There were two words pronounced exactly the same but slightly differently. One meant breath, and the other did mean energy but in a biological connotation. During simplification, these two words are now written the same. however, since the second word, meaning energy, was not used in everyday speech i cannot be sure of the connotation. There are many words for energy/power in chinese with subtle differences or connotative differences. some of these words are meaningless without other words or only represent broad ideas.
As a martial artist, I think an addition should be made to address the core complaint, martial arts/qigong must be exerienced not read from books. This saying is true for pretty much anything, including science where mearly reading books will not teach you the material. I think a section should be added to address the practice habits of qigong. The typical ways in which people learn qigong and practice qigong. WE should strenghten the connection between qigong practice and Chinese martial arts and the attainment of "kung fu." A list of popular qigong sets would also be nice. --Blckavnger 20:01, 20 November 2006 (UTC)

Links

There are a few questionable links at the end of the article. Most notably, the links in the final section ("Qi Gong Routines and Further Reading") do not conform to correct style, are misleading, and are clearly an example of commercial self-promotion. Second, the link to CSICOP doesn't seem relevant since the link points to the main CSICOP website, and not material related to qigong. I am deleting the aforementioned commercial links and replacing the general CSICOP link with a link to search results for the word Qigong at that site. Soft helion 23:00, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

FLG editors removing material from this article

The dispute over at Falun Gong has spilled over to this article now. Falun gong is notable, they use overtly Buddhist and Taoist terminology, and their founder also claims (or claimed) to teach a style of qigong. Removing info they seem to feel is embarassing is part of a larger pattern of FLG editors have been engaged in across the spectrum of their articles. For now, I have reverted their removal. See http://www.faluncanada.net/library/english/sydney/xini_e.html for confirmation. --Fire Star 火星 15:02, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

Fire Star please see WP:A:

Editors should provide attribution for quotations and for any material that is challenged or likely to be challenged, or it may be removed. The burden of evidence lies with the editor wishing to add or retain the material. If an article topic has no reliable sources, Wikipedia should not have an article on it.

You do need to find a source for that material. You will be violating wikipedia policy if you revert it without citing a source. I also think it's not very nice to say what you just said. It's not true, either.

PS: referring to that Sydney citation, you should know you can't use the source that way for that sentence.--Asdfg12345 21:50, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

FLG doesn't use 5 qigong exercises? Li doesn't say they are a "Buddha school" in Zhuan Falun and many lectures and interviews? Whether I'm nice or not (which you shouldn't speculate on, see WP:NPA) this stuff is all through Li's books and lectures and FLG is certainly notable enough to be mentioned in this article, as they advertise themselves as better than any other qigong. Why isn't a transcript of one of Li's lectures a valid source (from a sympathetic website no less) for a Wikipedia article mentioning what he teaches? Would you rather I put in Rick Ross and James Randi? I'm willing to discuss the wording, but the info stays in. --Fire Star 火星 23:06, 3 March 2007 (UTC)

The whole paragraph goes like this:

This recent popularity has also led to increased attention for quasi-religious groups teaching styles of qigong in an atmosphere of New Age-like spirituality. Qigong has been associated in China with Taoist and Buddhist meditation practices for two thousand years, and this association has recently been exploited, according to traditionalists, by many would-be cult leaders. Perhaps the most notable example of a group promoting a synthesis of overt religiosity with qigong practice is the Falun Gong group, whose worldwide popularity grew to the point that the People's Republic of China government started a suppression of Falun Gong in 1999.

Where did this information come from? It makes the introduction of "increased attention for quasi-religious groups teaching styles of qigong in an atmosphere of New Age-like spirituality", adding that "this association has recently been exploited, according to traditionalists, by many would-be cult leaders.", then saying "Perhaps the most notable example..." etc., this does not convey only the simple, true information you express in the above post. None of this is sourced, by the way. I do not at all object to saying that Falun Dafa uses terms used in Chinese Buddhism and Taoism. Why not put that in the "Beliefs" section, tack it on at the bottom, after this

It is claimed by some that the level of an individual's qigong accomplishment is fundamentally dependent upon the level of their virtue. Therefore in qigong, the practitioner's focus on virtue is an extremely important technical requirement, especially in the advanced levels. Without such continuous cultivation of virtue, one will not be able to achieve a highly relaxed and tranquil mind/body state.

(which is what Falun Gong says), and add something like Falun Gong is one such qigong with an emphasis on the cultivation of virtue, also using many terms traditionally associated with Buddhism and Taoism, stating that it is "qigong of the Buddha School."

There are direct quotes for those things. I don't really have too much time to spend on this, though. --Asdfg12345 00:03, 4 March 2007 (UTC)

Problems with the text

  • The article presently asserts that "breathing and movement exercises can influence the fundamental forces of the universe." That understanding is incorrect. Human beings may be able to tap the "fundamental forces," but they can't influence them. That's like saying that a human being could turn off the sun. P0M 00:20, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
  • It claims that there are references to qi-gong in oracle bone inscriptions and inscriptions cast in bronze. Where is the proof of this assertion? P0M 00:44, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
  • There are a very large number of uncited (unsupported) and dogmatic assertions in this article that I, as someone who has practiced internal styles of martial arts and associated qi gong for several decades, find highly questionable. I do not want to delete anything that is correct out of my own ignorance of what some reputable published source has recorded, so those who can add the needed citations throughout the article can save unneeded turbulence by providing those references in a timely way. P0M 01:01, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

I've left the above notice up for a couple of days. In the meantime I've read the Chinese article on qigong, and I've found a printed source that has much the same information. I don't find support for the first two items above, so I am going to remove them if nobody can come up with citations. P0M 17:15, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

The earliest mention that I know of Chinese breathing exercises is a Chou dynasty bronze inscription, although qi is mentioned as well as a set of breathing exercise, it isn't called "qigong" directly. Removing the "influence" POV and oracle bone references is a good idea. POV or anecdotal references that qigong actually does anything beyond what can be shown in medical studies, without the proper qualifiers, shouldn't stay in the article, IMO. --Fire Star 火星 22:33, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
It would not be out of line if we could say, e.g., "The Bao Pu Zi says: Summon the wind and calm the waves by exercising your prenatal breathing." (Made up quotation.) We don't have to believe it to believe that it was written by one person and believed by many people." As far as I know, however, many assertions in the article have no basis in authentic texts.
Can you supply a citation or a URL for the inscription? Or just the Chinese text would help. P0M 23:12, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
I've got a jpeg that I scanned from the cover of the book that has the inscription that I can't seem to get into a Wikipedia email to you. I'd upload it, but its copyright status is uncertain. The book that mentions it is: The Primordial Breath Volume 1 An Ancient Chinese Way of Prolonging Life Through Breath Control Seven treatises from the Taoist Canon, the Tao Tsang, translated by Jane Huang in collaboration with Michael Wurmbrand, Original Books Inc., Torrance, CA, USA. ISBN 0-944558-00-3.
The inscription is labelled as "A reproduction of a Chou dynasty (500 B.C.) inscription". It gives two translations of the old style characters (which look like an archaic small seal script). The character for qi is recognisable as a version of the modern character. Two translations are provided, one by Hellmut Wilhelm and another by Kuo Mo-jo.
Wilhelm: "With breathing, proceed as follows: (the breath) should be held and it will be gathered. If it is gathered, it becomes magic. If it becomes magic, it descends. If it descends, it quietens down. If it quietens down, it solidifies. If it is solidified, then it germinates. If it germinates, it grows. If it grows, it is attracted back (upwards). If it is attracted back, it reaches heaven. In heaven, it still presses up. at the lower end, it still presses down. He who follows this will live; he who acts contrary to this will die."
Must run, more later. --Fire Star 火星 19:24, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

The Dao Zang is not itself an early text. It accumulates lots of stuff, and verifying that something that is said to be old is really old can be a great problem. Usually the process is to find a quotation from an allegedly old book in something almost equally old that we are pretty sure is the real thing. For instance, we are pretty sure that the Shi Jing or "Book of Poetry" is really ancient because some of its poems are quoted in the Analects of Confucius, and that book is extremely well attested. It would be interesting to know what Guo Mo-ro thought about the passage he translated, since he was a very highly regarded scholar who specialized in just this kind of question.

If the inscription is indeed dated to 500 B.C. that would put it at the approximate time of Confucius. It looks like a pretty good quotation because it is an early version of some of the things in the one "qi gong" book that I have in my library. Some people think certain passages in the Lao Zi pertain to breath control, and I suppose some passages in the Zhuang Zi might qualify too. P0M 02:43, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

I don't find a 500 BC passage at all unlikely. The idea of an Oracle Bone text from 1000 years or so earlier than that seems very unlikely. Not only is 1000 years a long time for something to hang around without much change, but all of the oracle bone passages I have seen have been very short. There is a limit to how much you can write on the plastron of a turtle or the shoulder bone of a sheep. Oracle bone inscriptions were written as questions to the supernatural forces, and what was required was some kind of a response that was supposed to appear in the cracks that result when a hot poker is applied to a pit gouged into the shell. I can't see why anyone would write a letter to the gods about the theory of qi nurture. P0M 02:48, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

I don't think they are saying the inscription (which looks more like it is on large bamboo slips or even wooden panels in the photo now that I look at it again) is from the Tao Tsang, I think it is more like topical cover art. Kuo's translation:
"In transporting the breath, the inhalation must be full. When it is full, it has big capacity. When it has big capacity, it can be extended. When it is extended, it can penetrate downward. When it penetrates downward, it will be calmly settled. When it is calmly settled, it will be strong and firm. When it is strong and firm, it will germinate. When it germinates, it will grow. When it grows, it will retreat upward. When it retreats upward, it will reach the top of the head. The secret power of Providence moves above. The secret power of Earth moves below. He who follows this will live. He who acts against this will die."
There is a note appended below the two translations: The meaning of many of the ideograms of the Chou period has been lost. This is the reason for the different translations. --Fire Star 火星 19:17, 11 March 2007 (UTC)

I checked the on-line parts of the book on Amazon.com and it looks like the only way what you have could be a bronze inscription would be if the Dao Zang (it's a compendium) included in it as one of the 7 or so chapters in the English book a text (from whenever) that quoted as part of it the words that you say are from the Zhou dynasty. Whether it could indeed be identified as a bronze would depend on many factors. Ideally, the bronze vessel would still be extant. Otherwise the question would come down to the authenticity of the included text (chapter 3 or whatever it is) as an actual Zhou text and not a later forgery.

I'm a little suspicious of the qualifications of the book editor if s/he thinks there are many Zhou dynasty Chinese characters whose meanings are unknown and that such lacks of definitions account for the two different translations. Generally that isn't the way things work. People know what the words mean, but they don't know what the writers meant by them, so when they translate into English there is more or less slop. If a reputable translator does not know the meaning of a word s/he says so. Both translators are quite reputable and neither would make things up (unlike a certain modern translator I could mention). I get the same general idea out of each translation anyway.

I don't think the article has to pin the existence of breathing exercises to this one text. I don't think the assertion that people were thinking about these things at that time is controversial. What is controversial is the assertion that we have anything like that a thousand years earlier. P0M 03:02, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Please help fix the English

What does "resp" mean in

Based on such strictly scientific research methods and in co-operation with Peking Sport University, in 2003 the Chinese Government resp. their mass-organization "Chinese Health QiGong Association" presented the newly developed four Health Qigong Exercises.

P0M 03:16, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Hope I found the correct english word. --Swissk9 20:21, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

A multiply fuzzy passage.

In some styles of qigong, it is taught that humanity and nature are inseparable, and any belief otherwise is held to be an artificial discrimination based on a limited, two-dimensional view of human life. According to this philosophy, access to higher energy states and the subsequent health benefits said to be provided by these higher states is possible through the principle of cultivating virtue (de or te 德, see Tao Te Ching). Cultivating virtue could be described as a process in which one recognizes that one was never separated from nature (a Taoist metaphor for this is the "uncarved block" - which refers to a primal, undifferentiated state of being free of artificial discrimination), a process made possible with the energy made available to the qigong students after they sincerely choose and implement what they are taught as positive lifestyle choices, which will include practicing specific qigong techniques for ameliorating the effects of previous choices seen as less virtuous (see karma).

First, the view that humans and nature are inseparable is not restricted to qigong, nor is it solely in the province of Daoist thought. 天人合一 is an idea that goes back to Han dynasty (?) Confucianism.

Second, the part about "cultivating virtue" is messed up. If you are talking about Confucianism, then Mencius said something about the idea around 350 B.C., but what he said was that qi is augmented by the consistent practice of acts that exercise one's four ethical drives, 仁,義,禮,智 (empathy with conspecifics, sense of duty, i.e., pulling your own weight, sense of propriety i.e. the ability to ritualize problematic social situations to avoid trouble, and the wisdom to see who is right and who is wrong in third-party social situations). If you are talking about Daoism, the 德 (virtue) is generally explained by its homonym 得 (acquire, i.e., get something from the Dao). That Dao De Jing doesn't really talk about "cultivating virtue" in any way that would be consistent with what people in the West would understand by that idea. For the Daoists it is true that, "cultivating virtue" is primarily ridding oneself of the blinders of one's social conditioning, getting back to the "Uncarved Block" or getting back to totally unbiased perception of what is there. But I think one has to read between the lines in that text. Telling the reader to "see the Tao Te Ching" is not going to be helpful. At the very least the reader needs chapter and verse.

The part about acquiring virtue (in the above sense) being "a process made possible with the energy made available to the qigong students after they sincerely choose and implement what they are taught as positive lifestyle choices" is highly misleading to say the least. Any mention of "positive lifestyle choices" has been so totally dominated by the religious right that most people will read it to mean something like being a good Confucian, not steping on door frames, wearing the right kind of hat, obeying etiquette rules, etc., etc. I really can't guess what the writer was driving at, so it is hard to know how to fix this part. My understanding is that the way to get back to the uncarved block is through deep relaxation, laying aside subjective motivations, laying aside fear of feeling or believing the "wrong" thing, etc. To this end, qigong practice might be of benefit but only in that it involves learning the mechanics of deep relaxation. The parts of qigong that are directed to better physical mobilization of one's energies are largely irrelevant.

What does the writer mean by "specific qigong techniques for ameliorating the effects of previous choices seen as less virtuous"? What are the things that keep people from the uncarved block? They are essentially what we call prejudices--or at the very least preconceptions. If this is what the writer has in mind then the article ought to come out and say it. As it is it sounds like it is an assertion that one ought to feel some (purely self interested?) remorse for previous activities done contrary to the Dao, and then go about cleaning the results of these bad or counterproductive deeds up. Practically speaking, what is the student really supposed to do? From what is written I haven't the foggiest notion. Are there specific qigong techniques for ameliorating previous racist rants, previous lynchings, previous assaults on fellow villagers for praying the wrong way to the god of the hearth? The only thing I can think of that would make sense to me would be just using the basic tool of deep relaxation (meditation) to get rid of one's hangups and prejudices, then to see the world in a less distorted (deluded, maya) way, and then to do what is needed to get done what one previously tried to do in a dysfunctional way.

What does karma have to do with traditional qigong? Cause and effect has a great deal to do with qigong. But if you are a Daoist you don't doubt the reality of the universe you find yourself in. You doubt that you are seeing what is really there and you suspect that you are messing up by reacting to what you think is going on instead of what is really happening. "Kill the witch!" instead of "Get that psychotic person some medication!" "Karma mending" makes sense if you believe that the Universe you experience is the causal result of previous intentional acts (karma). If "you" have done bad karma in the past then "you" in the present are experiencing a situation in the world that is appropriate to the bad karma "you" did. What is qigong going to do about the situation? Nothing except as qigong is yet another meditative technique for allowing you to "see through" the apparent reality of this world to whatever is really there. The idea of karma does not explain what is in need of "ameliorization." It just asserts that you are in a bad way in the present because of bad karma (bad intentional acts) done in the past.

Is the assertion that there are specific qigong techniques to use to "undo" past karma, past intentional acts? To assert that would be to claim that there are specific qigong techniques to undo past hurtful lies told, past false witness given... People that got executed because somebody lied are not going to come back to life because of the performance of some qigong exercises. P0M 04:00, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

A serious misnomer

early shamanic aspects of qigong

Shamanic? Early? Both of these terms are imprecise to the point of being meaningless.

The practices described in this passage are those of spirit possession, not of shamanism.

Why "early shamanic aspects"? Is the shamanism "early"? Or is it that early on qigong had "shamanic aspects"?

Religious Daoism got involved with lots of spirit possession kinds of things I guess, but that was something that is not even reported in the Dao De Jing or the Zhuang Zi as far as I can remember. We don't have a very clear record of the spiritual practices that might be called shamanic in early China because the earliest informative material is in the Chu Ci (Songs of the South). That stuff is (1) late (i.e., 350 BC when we should like 1000 BC), (2) already contaminated by Confucianism, and (3) a literary product based on the native religious practices presumably still going on in southern China at the time the book was written/collected. Even so, what the Chu Ci reveals is something very much like the shamanism that Eliade describes so well in his long book on the subject. It involves nothing like "spirit possession." That stuff comes later, apparently.

The true "early shamanic aspects" of Chinese culture are completely benign as far as I can see. In fact, daoism seems to have evolved out of this early shamanism by adapting its religious techniques to the tasks of "de-programming" people infected with the cultural "virus" of Confucianism. It's the later stuff that should be regarded as problematical (unless you believe that there were gods in China busy taking people over to voice their demands, and that these gods were for some reason so parochial that they never bothered to bestow their attentions on people of other parts of the world, and that they were good gods).

Is there a "scientific" term for the kind of "being ridden" that is reported on "voodoo"? Is there a value neutral term for "spirit possession"? Ordinarily people in our culture send for the exorcist as soon as phenomena of this kind are reported. Anyway, the article needs some term other than "shamanism". American Indian shamans are some of the least likely people to require government suppression of anybody I know. P0M 04:22, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

Avoid a pointless fight

The ending says:

The recent popularity of qigong has also led to increased attention being paid to quasi-religious groups teaching styles of qigong in an atmosphere of New Age-like spirituality. Qigong has been associated in China with Taoist and Buddhist meditation practices for two thousand years, and this association has recently been popularized by different groups.

I suspect that this passage is intended to deal with a movement that has gained great notoriety in recent years. I believe that this article shouls say up-front that it is a treatment of the history and development of traditional qigong.

I removed the second sentence because it only repeats, as an odd final word, something that is peripheral to the subject at hand. I sugges that the entire quoted section be deleted. P0M 04:43, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

A misleading paragraph

There are currently more than 3,300 different styles and schools of qigong.[citation needed] Qigong relies on the traditional Chinese belief that the body has something that might be described as an "energy field" generated and maintained by the natural respiration of the body, known as qi (this is analogous to Prana and Pranayama in Yoga). Qi means breath or gas in Chinese, and, by extension, the energy produced by breathing that keeps us alive; gong means work applied to a discipline or the resultant level of technique. Qigong is then "breath work" or the art of managing one's breathing in order to achieve and maintain good health, and (especially in the martial arts) to enhance the energy mobilization and stamina of the body in coordination with the physical process of respiration.

As someone who began martial arts training in early 1963 and in a style that put a fair amount of emphasis on what I would call qi rather than on well-marbled beef, the paragraph quoted above seems bound to mislead the general reader. First of all, speaking of "natural respiration" suggests to the Western reader the ordinary ideas we grew up with, ideas that include a belief in the need to absorb oxygen by inhaling outside air. Some of the things that I have read in Sond dynasty philosophical texts suggest that their view was that the body itself produces qi and then we exhale it as needed. It is a Western idea that says the intake of oxygen is part of a process of metabolism that frees energy for the body's use. So, as is frequently the case, we who live on the opposite side of the world have everything upside down. The easy acceptance of modern scientific ideas as ancient martial arts or qigong ideas is a minor gripe. It's the other part of this paragraph that makes me most dissatisfied.

Supposedly, qigong is "managing one's breathing in order to ... enhance the energy mobilization and stamina of the body in coordination with the physical process of respiration." Structurally the sentence is pretty weak so I'm not sure what is supposed to connect strongly with what. Le't pick it apart. The person who practices qigong is going to "manage" his/her breathing in order to enhance energy mobilization." Where is this "energy" and how does it get "mobilized?" Is this energy just qi? How does one "mobilize qi?" Actually I think something like this "mobilization of energy" can happen in martial arts on a couple of levels. One level is the body's learned ability to turn longer-storage energy sources (glycogen) into instant-access energy sources (glucose) on an accelerated basis when a life-and-death situation in encountered. Most people do not have enough experience with intense challenges to get their bodies to learn how to do this kind of thing. The other level involves the body's ability to make all muscle fibers actualing an arm, leg, or other body part contract at the same time. (Ordinarily humans do this only under extreme circumstances, e.g., a teenage boy may manifest enough strenth to life a golf cart off his father's unconscious body even though under ordinary circumstances he could not lift half that weight.) So we're supposed to do this by managing breathing in coordination with the process of respiration? That's what the text says. Then there is the part about stamina. Stamina is something that one can train for. How is breathing management supposed to enhance one's stamina other than by making energy available in a more timely way?

The passage give the picture of someone doing breathing exercises and then having that work give a payoff in situations where energy and stamina are needed.

Maybe part of the problem is that the first sentence is structurally unsound. Maybe the first sentence is trying to say that one manages one's breathing so that it coordinates with (not the "physical process of respiration" but) efforts to move the body in ways that are equally carefully managed.

One beginner's mistake that may affect long-time students is to forget to breath. If one does not breath adequately one quickly runs out of breath. So one is always being instructed to coordinate one's breathing with one's actions. Besides keeping the body adequate supplied with oxygen in a fairly automatic way, breathing in coordination with body movements is desirable because a strong exhalation strengthens punches, kicks, etc. But the coordination effort does not end with that accomplishment. Inhaling changes the configuraiton of the chest and abdomen. It affects the ways that muscles attached to the rib cage will operate. It affects the mobilizaiton of the hips in kicking. So what we started looking at as "breath control" ends up being whole-body control, whole-body coordination, whole-body harmony, and, finally, mind-body harmony. Doing a movement with this degree of coordination is the polar opposite of mechanically breathing in some pre-established way, and so many things are going on in one's body that it would be very difficult to gain and maintain conscious awareness of all that is involved. (It would probably be counter-productive for one's fighting ability too.)

The end result is that one is doing nothing that is working against oneself. The effects of large muscles and hasty actions can make a person his own set of physical restraints.

I wish I could describe this idea better. Somebody must have written about it. Aikidoka perhaps? P0M 05:13, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

falun gong connection

Suffered means the association with falun gong has had a negative effect. That is true. On a recent trip to China to study, two of my neighbors who are qigong practitioners were informed they were not allowed to practice Qigong outside several times. This is a direct suppression of anything resembling Falun Gong practices. Just saying Qigong has become associated with religous movements doesnt tell us how this association may have affected qigong's image as a whole in the PRC. VanTucky 18:01, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

I see what you mean. That is too bad, because the times I've been to the mainland you could see lots of people doing qigong outside in the mornings. It would be nice if we could get a link to a PRC publication or press release since the crackdown condemning qigong generally, not just FLG. I wish there was a way I could nicely work in that Li Hongzhi manufactures exclusivity for his practise by condemning other styles of qigong in his books and lectures (which is what I thought the statement originally referred to), but I don't think it is possible for a Wikipedia editor to do so. We'd need a secondary source for that sort of thing. Cheers, --Fire Star 火星 22:09, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

I won't revert again before discussion, but the issue is more complex than that. There is certainly material for a detailed treatment of Falun Gong in relation to qigong on this page, but currently there is not. I am happy for either. I'll just go and tag some of those unsourced claims, and also change back the other framing I made (which did not seem contested but was reverted, terms such as "religious movement" etc are not correct.) Okay I did that, and left some comments in-line for your consideration. That paragraph was basically only there for Falun Gong. And Fire Star mentions just above how she'd like to slip in a criticism of Li Hongzhi. To me, that's not what this is about. I think the issue should be dealt with properly or just left alone. I thought it was going to be left alone (see some comments above about this from different user), as they would save time and hassle. But let me know how you'd like to proceed, Vantucky. There's some stuff on the Third_party_views_on_Falun_Gong page which is directly relevant to the qigong/falun gong connection. I'm happy for Falun Gong to be mentioned here, but not in the way it has been. My problem is the mention is just not neutral, it's using weasel words to make a connection that is not made explicitly, (upon careful reading and of my comments this should be clear), and it's just not enhancing any kind of discussion. Fire Star's suggested portrayal of Falun Gong/Li Hongzhi seems to be in the same spirit. I'd lean towards leaving Falun Gong on Falun Gong pages, and only mentioning it cursorily here, in the most neutral and bland way possible. --Asdfg12345 00:24, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

P0M's "avoid a pointless fight" comment seems relevant here. I'm thin on time at the moment too...--Asdfg12345 00:30, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

There are three distinct types of Qigong: medical, martial, and religious. I didn't actually write that paragraph, and I'm not opposed to revising it. I think Falun Gong should only be mentioned as an example of religious qigong (attributing that characterization to its own leaders and members), and that I agree with the spirit of what you're saying (render unto Caesar and so forth). But an encyclopedic treatment of the fact that religious qigong is controversial and has at times been marginalized is certainly in order. On a more practical note, the links now used are not properly formatted references per WP:CITE. I'll try and fix those shortly, and check to ensure that they really support the statements. VanTucky Talk 00:46, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Yeah my concern is only with half-truths, insinuations, implications, vagueness, and lack of neutrality--and experience has shown that these concerns are not unjustified. I have not heard of this particular delineation of qigong "types" before. Actually, just reading through the beliefs section on the main page, flg is not teaching a great deal more than that. In Falun Gong, qigong is precisely cultivation of Tao, cultivation of Buddha, but with qigong systems today these parts are not present or have been lost, and only the lowest level for healing and fitness has been brought out publicly for teaching. This is my quick interpretation of what Li Hongzhi has said. Just to mention. But basically apart from the standard view, Falun Gong is teaching a very different thing about qigong, is saying qigong is something more than is usually thought... in my view it is better to address this issue in full on the appropriate pages, or if treating it very cursorily, to do so in a very simple way. Fire Star's suggestion to slip in some criticism of Li Hongzhi on the side, for example, I just don't think that is good. The whole paragraph is just a shocker though and needs to be rewritten.--Asdfg12345 08:07, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

I can give you some reliable refs for that delineation if you like, but it's not hard and fast. It really only becomes evident in examples: FLG being one that focuses pretty much exclusively on moral and religious cultivation, Iron Palm or Iron Shirt being almost exclusively focused on developing martial ability, and Eight Pieces of Brocade or the Yi Jin Jing on health concerns. The confusion arises because the practice of something like Iron Shirt qigong can end up improving general health, and nearly all health qigong practices being used occasionally in correlation with martial arts. VanTucky Talk 23:03, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
We don't want to criticise Li Hongzhi, we want to report what he has said and let others have the chance to decide what he is doing. Your slipping in Li's religious perspective "only the lowest level for healing and fitness" on the side is using a fabricated classification of qigong types that is from Li's religious writings. --Bradeos Graphon 21:21, 27 September 2007 (UTC)
When you say "your" whom are you referring to? If you think that I'm using a falun gong classification in anything, you would be wrong. I personally don't read falun gong literature because its racist, homophobic quackery. Again, I'd be happy to provide very reliable references to non-falun gong qigong teachers/authors who make those distinctions. VanTucky Talk 23:07, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

I assume Bradeos' comment was directed toward me. I would agree that my characterisation is the same as the one provided in Falun Gong for understanding the relationship between different qigongs. In Zhuan Falun a certain delineation between different kinds of qigong is also made, there is a section called 'martial arts qigong', for example. But it is still the same thing, qigong, and practitioners of it can develop supernormal abilities, and it is in a kind of cultivation of Buddhahood, cultivation of Tao also, because those people need to give up attachments in that process also. In Zhuan Falun it says that because it does not use tranquil cultivation, it is not the highest form of cultivation directed toward this goal, but it is still effecting this and as long as those people cultivate their hearts their bodies will change and things will be developed. When we say "religious" let's not be vague. There is really nothing going too far beyond common characterisations given in Taoism and Buddhism regarding the purpose of human life and man's place in the universe. It's not even going beyond Pythagorianism, Platonism and Spinozism, either. Call it religious, mystical, metaphysical, spiritual, whatever you like. Any kind of sincere discussion of this topic would not be out of place. It's a complete mischaracterisation and misunderstanding to refer to the teachings of Falun Gong as "racist, homophobic quackery." I don't want to go on too much about this. Generally I think the topic has a tendency to spiral away like this, and think it's better to be left to its own pages, and dealt with on its own terms. That's why I'd say on this page, Falun Gong should just be mentioned quickly in a way everyone can agree on. Calling it a "religious movement" I think is really inadequate. All I'm asking for is clarity and sincere intentions.--Asdfg12345 23:56, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

Sincere intentions are not something that require proof. On Wikipedia we assume good faith. What I think about falun gong has no bearing on what should or should not be included in an encyclopedia. I'm not going to go through all your points, but I will say that multiple reliable published sources refer to falun gong as a religious movement, and thus it is a correct characterization. VanTucky Talk 19:57, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

I'm happy to leave it where it is now with Fire Star having deleted the modified paragraph. --Asdfg12345 23:25, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

Picture formatting problem

What computer and what browser are you (Ideogram) using? I've looked at the page with an IBM running Mozilla, and with a Mac using both Oasis and an antique copy of Netscape. I see no problem. If there is a problem, then you may be able to find some work-around so that it looks o.k. on your computer too.

I think you may find that attachment to personalities in counter-productive in the Wikipedia environment. Attacking people in edit summaries is counter-productive. Using words with strong emotional connotations like "crap" is counter-productive. Your comments were removed as uncivil by another editor. Since eiher the system has failed to update itself properly, or somebody had reintroduced them, I will answer them while removing the flames. It would have been better if you had brought up the details of the formatting problem instead of indulging in invective. Let's deal with the formatting problem. P0M 15:32, 18 May 2007 (UTC)

Types of Chi-Gong

I have a few questions to you all. What is the difference between ch-gong systems that stem from either the Zen or Taoist traditions? I know in some cases there are even mixtures of both. Also, can anyone explain, once and for all what the difference between Chi-Gong and Tai-Chi is? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 202.80.43.11 (talk) 07:52, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Short and Simple- the answer is: -Taoist Chi Kung/Qigong practices focus on cultivating Chi, and harnessing it for rejuvenation, healing, Spiritual, or Martial Arts purposes.

-Zen Chi Kung/Qigong focuses on using the meditative breathing and movements to achieve a quiet mind, ultimately a clear empty mind, so the Zen "truth" may be comprehended.

-Chi Kung is the seed Tai Chi is the tree. Chi Kung is the central breathing forms, and the few Chi cultivating "primal" movements of the body upon which the more elaborate Tai Chi Motions and Set Forms are created. EG: A= the 4 elements. B= the weather caused by the elements. It is easy to become confused without a teacher to ask questions of as they do appear similar to the eye, and the writings often do not point out the differences. As well, due to the length of time both systems have become elaborated and cross-pollinated, they ARE now many offshoot systems which are not purely one or the other but some degree of a mixture.

I hope that helps- feel free to ask me as I am a Taoist Qigong Master. User: Plutophanes

66.183.199.146 20:04, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

What about Chi-Gong in motion vs a much more still from of Chi-Gong? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 202.80.43.11 (talk) 05:35, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

Weasel words...

In the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 201.230.147.97 (talk) 23:35, 12 October 2007 (UTC)

This is Biased report on Qigong from a Materialist VP & also unscientific rhetoric.

This section on Qigong is only the viewpoint of a small percentage of non-practitioners. While it is "science-biased", it uses rhetoric rather than logic to present this viewpoint. It falls victim to many logical fallicies including picking and choosing data which will support the view asserted. If this is truely intended to be a scientific article it should follow the laws of logical fallicies and use empirical evidence to sway the reader- if it were to be un-biased; explaining the spiritual components without diminishing comments but allowing the reader to the respect to decide for themselves whether this is an idea which they would accept or reject into their world-view. It is true that a great deal of Qigong theory is contested or contestable, but nothing should be a foregone conclusion- the pro's and con's should be lucidly represented. I have studied Qigong under a Grandmaster for many years and would offer a re-write, my only worry would be that I would be biased as well, however I would not allow myself to present my own case with any confounding elements. If there are a number of people who also feel this selection is not paying enough respect to an important set of teachings, please let me know its not just me. [ THE SIMPLE FORM OF THIS STATEMENT: "THE QIGONG ARTICLE IS SO FILLED WITH WEASEL WORDS THAT IT HAS NEITHER NEUTRALITY, COMPREHENSIVENESS, OR ACCURACY- AND COULD EASILY LEAD A PERSON TO BELIEVE THAT QIGONG IS ANYTHING FROM A MINOR PSYCHO-SOMATIC 'STRESS-REDUCTION' TECHNIQUE OR A DANGEROUS "DEMON SUMMONING" PRACTICE PROBABLY REFERENCED FROM PROPAGANDA AGAINST THE FALUN GONG- NOT QIGONG ITSELF! JUDGING BY THE QUESTIONS IN THE TALK SECTION, THIS IS WHAT IT DID. PEOPLE ARE NOT ASKING ABOUT THE HISTORY OF THE QI/CHI THEORY AND ITS APPLICATIONS IN THE REAL WORLD FOR A THOUSAND YEARS- THEY ARE ASKING 'WHAT IS IT' & 'IS IT REAL?' " ~Drew Αγαθος και Σωφος, Σωφος και Καλος, Καλος και Αγαθος 03:43, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

OK, what are some specific examples? I have myself just taken out two instances of uncited statements... This article has been edited by many different editrs over the years, and you end up with layers of edits that aren't mutually consistent, IME. It starts well, but seems to get lost after a few sections. --Bradeos Graphon 21:17, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
firstly, when you mean section do you mean a specific section or the whole article? secondly i agree that this article is definately slanted and probably needs an overhaul. as stated above we need to focus on what it is the most. Again this is a hard article to write for (kind of like writing an article on physics). one suggestion i have is on this set of sentences
"However, the benefits of qigong become much more controversial when it is asserted that qigong derives its benefits from qi acting as a kind of "biological plasma" that cannot be detected by scientific instruments. Many biologists and physicists are skeptical of these claims and regard them as pseudoscientific."
By definition if something is not detectable its not scientific but this point is loss in jargon(pseudoscientific) and honestly i dont think its needed to stress this one particular point of view.

anyways i hope someone is willing to put the work to overhaul the article.--Blckavnger 00:02, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Good example - "Many biologists and physicists are skeptical of these claims and regard them as pseudoscientific" - as it stands is uncited and a prime example of weasel wording. It could be safely removed from the article, IMO, until a source is provided for it. --Bradeos Graphon 01:47, 27 October 2007 (UTC)